For survival reasons, lions outside protected areas hang out in groups of between two to three. By splitting, they stand better chances of survival from persecution after depredation of livestock. However, for the first time in the history of Eselenkei conservancy, a pride of eleven resides in it. Our female lioness Selenkay, has had two cubs from the previous litter graduate to sub-adult status and now has four little cubs. Her sister Elikan has two cubs as well. The resident male lion called Ndelie, makes the total number of lions an impressive eleven.
This is a new record number of lions outside the Amboseli National Park. These lions have moved from Mbirikani to Eselenkei because of the ideal and favorable climate. There are plenty of prey species and Lion Guardians are doing daily monitoring in and across the conservancy. Tourists from the nearby Amboseli- Porini camp are having a field day with such a big number of lions. Traditional lion hunts have been prohibited and the community MPT game scouts are present to enforce the rules. Thus the existing climate gives lions plenty of reasons to stay, hunt and mate as well as nurturing their little ones to maturity.
However, these lions are also showing a worrying trend. Since moving from Mbirikani to Eselenkei, they have killed seven cows so far, all of which are worth more than $4,000. This is cause for sleepless nights. It beats logic to understand why this pride is killing livestock in an area full of wild prey. It is our hope that they will stop killing livestock during the day and hunt what is rightfully theirs for the taking…wild prey. If they succeed in doing this, they stand a better chance of raising their second litter of cubs to maturity, which in turn will bring much joy to the Lion Guardian family.